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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor

 



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Francis Makemie

MAKEMIE, Francis, clergyman, born near Rathmelton, County Donegal, Ireland, in the 17th century; died in Virginia in 1708. After completing his academical and theological studies, he was licensed by the presbytery of Laggan in 1681, undertook a mission to Barbadoes, Wisconsin, and was ordained sine titulo with a view of coming to this country. Subsequently he went to Somerset county, Maryland, where he is supposed to have founded the church in Snow Hill, and thence removed to Virginia, where, through his marriage with Naomi, the daughter of William Anderson, a wealthy merchant of Accomac county, he became possessed of property and engaged in trade with the West Indies. In 1691 he went to England, and, after his return in July, 1692, he was visited by George Keith, who had separated from the Society of Friends and was travelling through the southern provinces to promulgate his views. Keith wrote an examination of a " Catechism " that had been published in 1691 by Makemie, who replied to it in "An Answer to George Keith's Libel," which was printed and recommended by Increase Mather and other clergymen of Boston as "the work of a reverend and judicious minister" (Boston, 1692). His preaching incurred the anger of the Virginia clergy, and he was seized and carried before the governor at Williamsburg; but his vindication secured the governor's license to preach throughout the colony. In 1699 he obtained a formal license to preach agreeably to the requirements of the toleration act, and travelled from Maryland to South Carolina to supply feeble churches, in 1707, on his way to New England, Mr. Makemie preached in a private house in New York without a license, for which he was arrested by Governor Cornbury and imprisoned for two months, and after his release he narrowly escaped arrest for a similar offence in New Jersey. He went soon afterward to Boston, where the sermon that he preached in New York was printed. He also published "A Narrative " of the affair, which was reprinted in 1755 by Hugh Gaine in New York and in Force's "Tracts." Corn-bury wrote to the lords of trade and the plantations that Makemie was "a preacher, a doctor of physic, a merchant, an attorney, a counsellor-at-law, and, which is worst of all, a disturber of governments." In 1706 he aided in forming the Philadelphia presbytery, of which he was moderator. Two letters of Mr. Makemie, addressed to Increase Mather, dated 1684 and 1685, are preserved in the library of the Massachusetts historical society. He occupies a prominent place in the history of the Presbyterian church in this country. Besides the above-mentioned writings he published " Truths in a New Light " (Edinburgh, 1699);" A Plain and Loving Persuasive to the Inhabitants of Indiana and Virginia., etc." (London, 1704); and a "Letter to Lord Cornbury" (Boston, 1707).

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